Just two years ago, the Virginia Tech men were being heralded as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament champs. Then last year hit as the Hokies only won 19 games, losing to N.C. State in the tournament’s second round.
Cattoor is excited about this upcoming season.
“We’re going to figure it out. We’ll be fine. We’ve been going through kind of the off-season summer working out, and we’ve got a good group of guys that I’m confident in, and we’ll be excited to start off on November 6,” Cattoor said.
Pedulla enters his third season at Virginia Tech, the expectations are set for the junior point guard to assert himself as a leader for the Hokies. Transitioning from a freshman to a sophomore in 2022, Pedulla saw his role skyrocket. He became the team’s full-time starting point guard and led Tech in minutes per game at 35.6.
Furthermore, Pedulla played and started in all 34 games the Hokies played last season, which was also a team high. While moving into the “PG1” role, Pedulla catapulted his 5.4 points per game and 1.3 assists per game as a freshman to 15.0 and 3.8, respectively, in his sophomore campaign. Heading into 2023, Pedulla will be called upon to advance his game to a higher rung on the ladder.
“I need to be a more complete player. Last year, I had a new role as the starting point guard. This year I’m looking forward to taking control of that role and running with it to the best of my ability,” Sean Pedulla said.
With 70 games of experience under his belt in just two seasons, Pedulla is now the second longest-tenured member of Virginia Tech men’s basketball. He trails only Catoor with 119 games played in a Tech uniform. With nine of the 15 rostered players for the upcoming season being underclassmen, Pedulla will be asked to grow as a leader in his junior year.
Of course, there will be some new faces on the floor this year.
Long comes to Blacksburg after three seasons at Old Dominion. He played his freshman season at Rhode Island. As a senior for the Monarchs, Long averaged 10.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Bryans Road, Md., native registered 11 double-doubles on the season, including nine in Sun Belt play to lead the league.
The 6-foot-7 wing started in 29 of ODU’s 30 games in 2022-23. Long chalked up 10 points and 11 rebounds in the Monarchs’ 75-71 loss to the Hokies on Nov. 17. The fifth-year standout has amassed 770 points, 613 rebounds and 100 assists in his career.
Nickel, a former four-star recruit out of high school, returns to the Commonwealth after spending his freshman season at ACC foe North Carolina. As a freshman for the Tar Heels, Nickel averaged 2.1 points in 25 games. He scored a season-high 16 points (all in the second half) vs. The Citadel. Nickel tallied eight points in a season-high 25 minutes against the Hokies on Dec. 4.
The Harrisonburg native set the Virginia High School League scoring record of 2,909 points in 102 career games at East Rockingham. He was the 2022 VHSL Class AA Player of the Year, a four-time region and district player of the year and four-time first-team all-state, all-region and all-district.
Nickel led East Rockingham to an 87-15 record and state tournament appearances each year, with runner-up finishes in 2020 and 2022. He became the first player from East Rockingham to play at a Division I school.
Beran, who was recruited by each member of Tech’s current coaching staff out of high school, will play his fifth year for the Hokies after four seasons at Northwestern. The Richmond, Va., native started 100 of his 120 career games with the Wildcats, while racking up 744 career points and 454 career rebounds.
Coming off a 15-16 record in 2021-22, Beran spurred Northwestern to an impressive turnaround last season, going 22-12 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. As a senior, Beran averaged 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Beran is a 41.2% shooter from the floor in his career, including a 36.1% clip from beyond the arc. Nearly 50% of his career field goal attempts are from long range.
As previously announced, Tech will compete in the Hall of Fame Series vs. South Carolina on Nov. 10 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. The Hokies return home for a pair of games against Campbell (Nov. 15) and Wofford (Nov. 19), the latter marks the first time Young will face his previous squad as Tech’s head coach. Young spent 17 seasons in Spartanburg, S.C., leading the Terriers to five NCAA tournaments and five Southern Conference tournament titles.
Tech then makes its return to Orlando, Fla., for the ESPN Events Invitational (Nov. 23-26) inside State Farm Field House.
From there, VT will swing up to Auburn, Ala., to square off with the Tigers in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge on Nov. 29. Tech closes out its non-conference slate with three home games against Valparaiso (Dec. 9), Vermont (Dec. 16) and American (Dec. 21).
As part of the ACC schedule, the Hokies will welcome Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia and Wake Forest to Cassell Coliseum. On the road, Tech will clash with Florida State, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest.
You can see the Hokies in action on Monday, Nov. 6 when they take on Coppin State 8 p.m. ET at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.